Mental Health: From the Artist

I have personally internalised a number of mental health related concepts since before I can remember, some relating to myself, but the majority towards general society. Mental health is as broad and generalised as any other branch of science, and to say I have any official knowledge would be wrong. What I can say, however, is more often than not there is water running deep below the surface of most people, whether this water is an issue or not is regardless, it’s most likely there. However, due to the seemingly unattractive nature of the psyche, I – and I would presume many others alike – struggle to grasp what happens moment to moment within someone’s head, and henceforth it is often all-too-difficult to connect with someone and understand what they are going through (good or bad).

To combat this, my personal belief has always been the more you know about someone, the more you understand, and this is important as understanding leads to connection and stronger relationships in general. Taking allowances for perspective, and all of this brings respect and validation, meaning if time comes for a helping hand, an individual who has gained a number of different perspectives will be much better suited to do what is needed and everyone will benefit emotionally.

I was watching a documentary on mental health disorders, at one point an old woman had a psychotic episode. This woman continued to make manic rants for the next 15 minutes, growing more distraught and uncomfortable as time went on. I strongly felt the presence of ideas forming in her brain, however somewhere between conception and elaboration the ideas were confused, leaving her words to be lost amidst the senseless mumbles, the only relevant information left was her emotion. This emotion however was very strong, to the point where I was compelled (for the first time ever) to draw the experience immediately. This piece stands for me as the moment in which the woman became incomprehensible, communication was still available. Cues could still be picked up however the ability to simply understand the woman’s message was not gone, but instead hidden behind a manifesto of fear, confusion and information with no – or highly misleading- context. My ink work stems from a tattooing influence, with most of my fine pieces coming from my apprenticeship portfolio.

Brad’s work can be seen on Instagram at @artbybeast

If you think you may be experiencing depression, anxiety, or another mental health problem, please contact ANU Counselling on 6125 2442, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.